Food is the basic necessity of life, but the food you eat should be nutritious. Eating nutritious food and maintaining a balanced diet will help you stay healthy. There is a lot of information and confusion regarding what to eat, how to eat it, when to eat it and so on. Here is a list of simple do’s and don’ts for healthy eating.
- Build a healthy plate by making sure that half your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables, especially more of red, orange and dark green veggies. Keep track of what you eat and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Make whole grains at least half your grain intake.
- Eat lot of protein, especially for breakfast. This will helps reduce hunger later in the day and also help preserve lean body mass (muscle) to maintain strength for everyday tasks. Protein rich breakfast foods include: eggs, Greek yogurt, milk, protein powder, cheese, nuts and nut butters. Experts recommend 20 to 30 grams of protein at each meal is good enough for a healthy nutritious food.
- Stick to healthy cooking methods such as steaming, stewing, roasting, or boiling.
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids everyday and stay hydrated. Water is the most essential nutrient needed for your body.
- Control portions and avoid overeating.
- Practice mindful eating by listening to your hunger cues.
- Have an early dinner. This will help you sleep better and also prevent heartburn. Having dinner early helps the body to burn off energy instead of storing excess calories.
- Never skip your breakfast. Studies have revealed that people who skip breakfast tend to overeat throughout the day.
- Avoid snacks such as candies, French fries, instant noodles, ice-cream and soft drinks because they contain many calories that not only cause obesity but also affect our appetite and hinder the intake of nutritious food. Switch to healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, or yogurt, which can keep you becoming over-hungry as you approach your next meal.
- Don’t eat too much of salty, marinated or preserved food such as salted fish, preserved vegetables, and sausages.
- Cut back on foods those are high in solid fats and added sugars.
- Don’t eat in a rush or if you’re stressed, as it would be harder for your body to notice food intake when your mind is on other things.
- Avoid eating too much before going to bed – this will make it harder to sleep since your body has to actively digest the food.
- Don’t rely on tablets for nutrition unless prescribed by your healthcare provider. According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, “Supplements should be taken with good food, not instead of good food.”
Eat meals with other people. To quote an article in the Watertown Daily Times: “Studies have shown that older people who eat “in community” instead of alone are less likely to become depressed. And studies around the world find a strong link between sharing meals and longer, more healthful lives.”